Every time I enter my bedroom I see the treadmill sitting there alone and empty in the corner. It's almost like it is beckoning me at times to help it serve its purpose. It's like that shirt that hangs in my closet saying "pick me, pick me", and I keep ignoring it. And yes I feel bad for lonely clothes and exercise equipment so I try to humor them and not leave them lonely.
Now, this treadmill came to live with me after I found it at the end of a driveway on a nearby street. It was wearing a sign that said "FREE", implying that it had no value, and the owners had no more use for it and were discarding it to anyone who was willing to drag it away. So as much as I long for the days that a newborn baby gets left on my doorstep, I made the treadmill my baby. I loaded it into the van and drove away. To be honest it wasn't quite that easy, but let's just say I made it fit, and only came away with a few bruises and scratches.
I hauled it up to my bedroom and set it up in a corner of the room and plugged it in. It started up with a loud hum, but it started up nonetheless. I tried it out and immediately was grabbing for the safety rails (that's what I call them for obvious reasons) as I was almost thrown off the back into the wall, like a bucking horse who knows its rider has no idea what she is doing. Now this free castoff didn't come with directions, nor did it come with a knob to control the incline setting which seems to be in the inclined position, because I can't really be THAT out of shape. No, really, it is inclined a bit, I measured. So after the "buck-off", I took a little break, maybe a little out of fear and a lot out of laziness. Slowly but surely, the treadmill became an extra closet. Boxes and bags of Christmas decorations found their way there as did bags of maternity clothes and chldren's clothes returned to me from my sisters. It was easier to enter the room and not hear the treadmill calling out, "Try again, saddle me up, I won't buck you off" when it was covered with things. Only the lonely safety rails kept peeking out at me as if they were offering reassurance that they would save me once again if only I dared to hop back on.
Well, I have dared. Two weeks ago after a particularly self-revealing moment in my room with my summer clothes, I decided enough was enough. I can be rather hard on myself at times, and this was one of those moments. It was "do or die", or "do or diet" which to me means the same thing since I love food. So I cleared off the bags, dusted off the safety rails, plugged in the treadmill and climbed aboard, all while holding onto the safety rails, of course. Well, that day I did 2 miles, alternating every 1/2 mile between running and walking. The humming seemed increasingly louder so I turned the ipod up louder and louder. The music of Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Motley Crue pushed me forward. Between the sweat forming on my whole body and the fact that I was short of breath in that I couldn't sing along to my favorite songs, I knew I was doing something right. I didn't do a .001 mile past the 2 miles, which was the goal I set for my maiden voyage, and I almost fell as I dismounted because my legs were so weak, and I was so dizzy, but I did it. Inspired, I also did 50 sit-ups as those were my saving grace after my first pregnancy when I wanted to get immediately back into my faded jean size 5 booty shorts. After the sit-ups, I crashed, hard, onto the bed, and only got up to get some water, not to drink, but to pour over my head in the middle of the kitchen, knowing and not even caring that I would also have to be the one to clean it up.
Two weeks later...I haven't visited the treadmill every day, and some days I can hear it sigh as I walk past, and I know it's disappointed that I haven't taken it for a ride that day. And then the next day when I plug it in, and its loud hum starts going, I know it's ready for me. And it's getting easier...the incline isn't so bad anymore, the music still pumps me up and pushes me forward, the safety rails are still my friends and the dizzying dismounts aren't so intense. I'm doing the same 2 miles in less time and increasing my speed. The 60 sit-ups that follow aren't making me want to vomit, and I've added 50 girl push-ups too, and I've lost 5 lbs. But more importantly I feel better. I feel like I'm accomplishing something and I might even be starting to like exercise a little bit because I find myself enjoying my late afternoon rides on my treadmill and actually looking forward to them some days. Yes, we are bonding...me and my baby left on my doorstep.